MARYVALE, Ariz. — Officially, Trevor Cahill made his fourth appearance this spring.
Unofficially, the Friday afternoon start had more of a regular-season feel.
Not that the veteran right-hander was in midseason form — far from it — but Cahill showed an ability to work out of trouble, making the necessary in-game adjustments to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks within striking distance.
Cahill pitched four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits in a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in front of 8,112 at Maryvale Baseball Park.
All three runs were scored in the first inning.
“It was rough at the beginning, said Cahill, who walked two and struck out three in his longest outing of the Cactus League.
“Any time you have the bases loaded for about six hitters it’s a little rough, but I was able to bounce back and get some ground balls with guys on first for the double play, which helped out a lot.”
The first six Brewers batters reached base safely. Second baseman Scooter Gennett and catcher Jonathan Lucroy opened with back-to-back singles to left. Right fielder Ryan Braun walked on four pitches to load the bases ahead of third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who hit a sharp ground ball to third that Yasmany Tomas mishandled for an error, and the first Milwaukee run crossed home plate.
Two more hits, including one by former D-back Gerardo Parra, made it 3-0 before a single out was recorded.
“I think if I had thrown five perfect innings it would’ve been better,” Cahill said. “The situation, it kind of gives you more of a game-like, regular season-type feel. You get that extra behind it and get that adrenaline, so definitely, kind of a more regular season feel.”
Though he gave up three more hits after the first, Cahill left all three runners on base, including two in scoring position. He retired the last four batters he faced, reaching a 75-pitch limit on his final throw, a ground ball out by Lucroy to end the fourth.
“I thought Cahill threw the ball well,” first-year manager Chip Hale said. “He got in trouble early, he could’ve folded (but he) battled and kept us in the game, gave us a chance to come back. His stuff was good and really got better as he went on, too.
“That game could’ve easily gotten away from us right there in the first, second inning, and he kept us in it. And we’ve been doing that most of spring … limiting the damage, and I thought he epitomized that today.”